Let’s all be honest, we’ve all given it a thought haven’t we? It seems so tempting! You get the benefits of having someone do your sales and you only have to pay them if they are successful. Obviously you’ll be really generous with your commission rate so it’ll work out good them too…that’s risk free and win-win isn’t it?
In a word, No! As much as we’d like to think it’ll work out I think in most cases all you’ll do is waste your time, waste their time and quite possibly ruin your reputation in the process. I will put my hand up and say I have been down this route myself but have found that the best things in life sadly are not free…and here’s why.
A Sure Thing
Some industries do seem to work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis don’t they? A lawyer is willing to do all of the work on your case and not be paid unless they win for example. Well, that’s not really true. ‘No win, no fee’ companies will always be 100% sure they are going to win otherwise they would not take your case. The term is simply used as a marketing tool for them to get in enquiries. No matter how much you would like to believe it, your product/service is not so amazing it will fly off the shelves with a bit of sales. I think few things could be considered an ‘easy’ sell and so for any salesperson taking on a commission only gig there is a high level of risk involved.
Without a stable income, you certainly won’t get any loyalty from anyone who is commission only, and how can blame them? They are putting in 100% of the effort, grinding away, quite possibly incurring costs from travel etc and they might not get anything out of it. No doubt if someone comes along and offers them a stable job they will take it. This lack of loyalty is a real problem because in order to have an effective sales person you will have to devote time and effort into training and supporting them, all of which will be wasted time once they jump ship.
Something that makes me extremely unpopular with anyone in sales is my firm belief that you shouldn’t reward success, you should reward work. This is especially true when it comes to commission only staff. If your pay check is 100% dependant on getting sales in then you will do anything and everything to make that happen. That means cutting corners, promising things you know you can’t deliver. They are much more likely to push a customer into making a sale who may not be ready, causing issues down the line.
Chicken And Egg
If you are low on funds but need help selling your product it can be a real chicken and egg scenario. My advice would be that you are always better off paying somebody SOMETHING, even if it’s a low amount and then adding a healthy bonus on top. If you are not honestly not in a position where you can hire someone without it being a major consideration then I’m sorry but you’re going to have to get your hands dirty.